Family Events & Festivals

Welcome. Please note that although families can rest assured that all posted listings are reviewed by our staff for appropriate content, we cannot verify all information contained in a given entry.

Creators of the original Gold Award-Winning CharlottesvilleFamily Fun Calendar, we've been serving up hyper-local parenting content for more than 20 years.


 ExhibitsGo to top of List
 
May 1-July 17
VIRTUAL EXHIBITION: THIS FAMILIAR SPACE
Second Street Gallery.
An exhibition of work by Stacey Evans in collaboration with high school students from Charlottesville and its sister city of Besançon, France, Charlottesville artist Nina Burke, and Besançon artist Gabriel Hopson. Online - Second Street Gallery.  For details, please click this link. 
 
LOCAL MUSEUMS
We have many fabulous museums in our region. Everything from our own Virginia Discovery Museum downtown to the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond! Please also take a look at our other publication especially for tourists and newcomers, The Charlottesville Welcome Book. Visit our CharlottesvilleFamily Guide to Family Fun Year-Round for comprehensive museum listings for families in our area. For details, please click this link. 
 
THE CHARLOTTESVILLE WELCOME BOOK
The Charlottesville Welcome Book celebrates the sights and sounds of Jefferson's Virginia and provides visitors, newcomers and locals with the flavor of our wonderful community! Find art gallery openings, museums & attractions, exhibits, theatre, concerts, brewery and wine events on the calendar along with engaging short stories about the local antiques scene, shopping, history, vineyards and more. The Charlottesville Welcome Book is the quarterly sister publication of CharlottesvilleFamily so you can count on the quality that you've come to trust. Follow this link to the website and digital edition. For details, please click this link. 
 
 Farm & Orchard EventsGo to top of List
 
June-August, Mondays & Tuesdays
CULTIVATING CURIOSITY
Carter Mountain Orchard.
Activities include: storytime, craft or cooking project, fruit picking (when available), hayride and snack Both sessions during a week will include the same activities, then activities will switch from week to week. Seasonal themes include apples, peaches, pumpkins, flowers, bees, etc. Carter Mountain Orchard.  10:30am-12pm.  $10/child.  Recommended for ages 3 to 8.  Email: info@CarterMountainOrchard.com. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-977-1833. 
 
LOCAL FARMS & ORCHARDS
Charlottesville-Albemarle has many great outdoor opportunities for families and perennial favorites are berry-picking, pumpkin picking, and springtime farm visits to see baby animals. In our AF Guide to Family Fun you'll find listings for farms and orchards that welcome families. Please be courteous and call ahead to plan your visit--these wonderful places are also home for the farmers. For details, please click this link. 
 
 FestivalsGo to top of List
 
September 21-27, Monday-Sunday
RESCHEDULED: TOM TOM FOUNDERS SUMMIT & FESTIVAL
Tom Tom Foundation.
Nonstop talks, workshops, panels, installations, concerts and parties. The converging disciplines of music, art, design, business, science and technology connect people and new ideas with the resources necessary to impact the future. Like the founding polymath, Tom Tom explores the field to fork movement, new discoveries, technology, education, public art and creative expositions. Various locations around Charlottesville.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Email: info@tomtomfest.com. For details, please click this link. 
 
Ongoing
SCHOOL FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Many local schools host wonderful special events each year--fairs, festivals, dances, spaghetti suppers and more. Because they are designed by parents for families you can be sure of having a good time and supporting a worthwhile cause. For details, please click this link. 
 
 History ActivitiesGo to top of List
 
THE CHARLOTTESVILLE WELCOME BOOK
The Charlottesville Welcome Book celebrates the sights and sounds of Jefferson's Virginia and provides visitors, newcomers and locals with the flavor of our wonderful community! Find art gallery openings, museums & attractions, exhibits, theatre, concerts, brewery and wine events on the calendar along with engaging short stories about the local antiques scene, shopping, history, vineyards and more. The Charlottesville Welcome Book is the quarterly sister publication of CharlottesvilleFamily so you can count on the quality that you've come to trust. Follow this link to the website and digital edition. For details, please click this link. 
 
 Markets & BazaarsGo to top of List
 
June 14, Sunday
RESCHEDULED - SPRING ARTISAN MARKET
Mount Ida Reserve.
Over 20 local artisans are joining together offering a wide range of products to include handbags, jewelry, wood work, metal work, soaps, candles, coffee, fresh florals and more. Mount Ida Reserve.  12-4pm.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-286-4282. 
 
Saturdays
CHARLOTTESVILLE CITY MARKET - DRIVE THRU MARKET
Charlottesville City Market.
New safe drive thru pickup at Penn Park. Browse, preorder, and select a time block for your pickup. Penn Park.  For details, please click this link. 
 
April 4-September 26, Saturdays
CITY MARKET
City of Charlottesville.
Visit for fresh local produce, plants, and plenty of homemade goodies and crafts every Saturday morning. 100 Water St E, Charlottesville, VA 22902.  8am-12pm.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-970-3371. 
 
May 14-October 29, Tuesdays
FOREST LAKES FARMERS MARKET
Forest Lakes Community Association.
Shop local produce, plants, meats and eggs, home-baked goods, jams and more. Forest Lakes South.  Directions: Recreation Center parking lot.  4-7pm.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Email: forestlakesmarket@gmail.com. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-531-2733. 
 
Wednesdays & Fridays
DRIVE-THROUGH FARMERS MARKET
Local Food Hub.
Preorder items online from Virginia farmers and pick up via drive-through on Wednesdays and/or Fridays. 1801 Hydraulic Road (Old Kmart parking lot).  Wednesdays 4-6pm, Fridays 3-5:30pm.  For details, please click this link. 
 
Saturdays
SPRING FARMERS MARKET
IX Art Park.
The market layout, vendors and customers will comply with Corona virus protocols. Safety is the highest priority. There are several safe ways to access food. You can now order from several vendors online and pick up at the market site at the booth or in your car. IX Art Park.  9am-12pm.  Email: cecile@marketcentralonline.org. For details, please click this link. 
 
 MoviesGo to top of List
 
June 5, Friday
WILD STREAMS: WILD VIRGINIA MINI FILM FESTIVAL
Wild Virginia.
Wild Virginia will be hosting an online "mini-festival" and it will feature inspiring music, film and entertainment. The festival will kick off on World Environment Day. Online - Wild Virginia.  6pm.  $Free.  For details, please click this link. 
 
 MuseumsGo to top of List
 
May 28, Thursday
'ROOS GALORE
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection.
In this webinar, Kluge-Ruhe educators Fenella Belle and Lauren Maupin will explore how kangaroos are depicted in Aboriginal paintings in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, focusing on central and northern Australia. Why is that kangaroo's arm separated from its body? How long do baby joeys stay in their mother's pouches? These and many more questions will be answered in this program designed for families, but open to everyone. Online - Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA.  7pm.  For details, please click this link. 
 
May 30, Saturday
VIRTUAL MARINE SCIENCE DAY
Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) invites you to join online for Marine Science Day 2020. This family-friendly, virtual event will provide a fun, educational, and engaging day of exploration. From seafood cooking demonstrations and Q&A sessions with our scientists to story times and do-at-home crafts, there will be something for everyone. Participants will be able to interact with some of the leading scientists in the field of marine science as well as explore the areas of research conducted at VIMS. Online,Online.  10am-3pm.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Contact: Sally Brooks.  Email: programs@vims.edu. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 804-684-7061. 
 
First Friday of every month
FREE FIRST FRIDAY
Explore More Discovery Museum.
Kids can participate in fun activities designed to help them understand how to build a foundation and frame for everything from muscles and bones to house and home. Explore More Discovery Museum.  Directions: 150 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg.  4-7pm.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 540-442-8900. 
 
LOCAL MUSEUMS
We have many fabulous museums in our region. Everything from our own Virginia Discovery Museum downtown to the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond! Please also take a look at our other publication especially for tourists and newcomers, The Charlottesville Welcome Book. Visit our CharlottesvilleFamily Guide to Family Fun Year-Round for comprehensive museum listings for families in our area. For details, please click this link. 
 
First Saturdays
MUSEUMS ON US
Bank of America / Merrill / Virginia Discovery Museum.
Its Museums on Us® day at the Virginia Discovery Museum, sponsored by Bank of America! BoA, Merrill, and Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) customers receive one free general admission ticket per cardholder with an active credit or debit card and valid photo ID. Virginia Discovery Museum.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-977-1025. 
 
THE CHARLOTTESVILLE WELCOME BOOK
The Charlottesville Welcome Book celebrates the sights and sounds of Jefferson's Virginia and provides visitors, newcomers and locals with the flavor of our wonderful community! Find art gallery openings, museums & attractions, exhibits, theatre, concerts, brewery and wine events on the calendar along with engaging short stories about the local antiques scene, shopping, history, vineyards and more. The Charlottesville Welcome Book is the quarterly sister publication of CharlottesvilleFamily so you can count on the quality that you've come to trust. Follow this link to the website and digital edition. For details, please click this link. 
 
First Wednesdays
WEGMAN'S PAY WHAT YOU WISH WEDNESDAY
Virginia Discovery Museum / Wegmans.
Admission to the museum is by donation today. Virginia Discovery Museum.  Directions: East end of the Downtown Mall (near City Hall).  10am-5pm.  Email: gallerymanager@vadm.org. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 977-1025. 
 
 Nature & Park ActivitiesGo to top of List
 
June 5, Friday
WILD STREAMS: WILD VIRGINIA MINI FILM FESTIVAL
Wild Virginia.
Wild Virginia will be hosting an online "mini-festival" and it will feature inspiring music, film and entertainment. The festival will kick off on World Environment Day. Online - Wild Virginia.  6pm.  $Free.  For details, please click this link. 
 
Wednesdays & Saturdays
GRAND CAVERNS VIRTUAL TOUR
Grand Caverns.
Enjoy a virtual tour (The Grand Caverns Tour Series) one room at a time. New videos are released every Wednesday and Saturday. Grand Caverns - Facebook & YouTube.  For details, please click this link. 
 
June 8-July 11
WILDROCK TINY WORLDS TRAIL
Wildrock.
Tiny Worlds Trail - a magical day trip experience featuring playful installations under the willow, in the woods, and along the banks of the stream. Visitors of all ages are invited for a day of joyful discovery and nature connection. Prepare to find fairies, gnomes and all of their homes. Reserve your spot for this ninety-minute timed-trail experience. To ensure social distancing, visits are scheduled in thirty-minute intervals. Wildrock.  By appt.  $20 per car.  All ages welcome.  Contact: Paige Lindblom.  Email: plwildrock@gmail.com. Reservations are required.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-987-0638. 
 
May-August, Select Dates
TWILIGHT HIKING
Shenandoah National Park.
Hike into the "big meadow" at dusk through the changing colors of the mountain sky and, eventually, the spread of night skies as you explore the natural world as it settles into evening. You'll also look for animal signs and seasonal plants as you explore the ecosystems of the meadows. Led by Shenandoah Mountain Guides. Big Meadows Lodge (mile 51 on Skyline Dr.).  Directions: Meet at the grassy circle in front of the the Lodge lobby.  7pm.  $20.  Reservations are required.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 877-847-1919. 
 
February 1, Friday
FIRST FRIDAYS UNDER THE STARS
Ivy Creek Foundation.
Learn about the stars and other celestial objects. Start with a short talk in the education building then after the skies darken, volunteers help point out constellations and nebula. Use the Charlottesville Astronomical Society's telescope or bring your own. Cloudy skies cancel the outdoor portion. Ivy Creek Natural Area.  7:45-9pm.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Email: director@ivycreekfoundation.org. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-973-7772. 
 
First Saturdays
FIRST SATURDAY BIRD WALK
Ivy Creek Foundation.
Come for an early morning bird walk with Amy Neale of the Monticello Bird Club. Beginners always are welcome, and binoculars are available to share. Meet in the parking lot of Ivy Creek Natural Area to participate. Ivy Creek Natural Area.  7:30-8:30am.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Email: programs@ivycreekfoundation.org. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-973-7772. 
 
First & Third Mondays and Second & Fourth Thursdays
LITTLE NATURALISTS
Ivy Creek Foundation.
Introduce your 3 to 5 year old to nature with this short talk and trail walk. Trained guides will host, starting in the Ivy Creek Foundation Education Building. Ivy Creek Natural Area.  10-11am.  $Free.  Contact: Jill Watt.  Email: jillheffwatt@gmail.com. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 717-850-1461. 
 
Third Friday of every month
LIVESKY PLANETARIUM SHOW
Science Museum of Virginia.
Take a guided tour of the current night sky and find out about the latest celestial happenings. You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions and make requests of your astronomer host. Since the sky is always changing and audience questions and requests vary, each LiveSky show is different. No LiveSky during the month of April. Science Museum of Virginia.  Directions: 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA.  6pm.  $5 nonmembers; free for members.  All ages welcome.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 804-864-1431. 
 
Ongoing
STARGAZING 101
Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond.
Learn the names and locations of each season's major constellations and bright stars. Learn how to spot planets, use a star map and use binoculars for a closer look at the night sky. Fee and registration required. 2500 West Broad St., Richmond.  Reservations are required.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 804-864-1400. 
 
Third Friday of every month
STARS AND PLANETS
Science Museum of Virginia.
Join members of the Richmond Astronomical Society on the front lawn as they share their telescopes for a look at the night sky (weather permitting). Science Museum of Virginia.  Directions: 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA.  Times vary from month to month.  $free.  All ages welcome.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 804-864-1400. 
 
TRAIL ADVENTURES PROGRAM BY APPOINTMENT
Wildrock.
Wildrock is currently welcoming families to their trail system through their 90 minute Trail Adventures program. This is by reservation only and is designed to ensure social distancing. Make reservations online. Wildrock.  Reservations are required.  For details, please click this link. 
 
 PerformancesGo to top of List
 
May 28, Thursday
30IN30 VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE
Live Arts.
Every evening in May at 7pm, Live Arts will be going live on their Facebook page to share an episode of their 30in30 festival. Each episode will spotlight a different artistic season at Live Arts as they journey through three decades of forging theater and community in Charlottesville. Live Arts - Facebook Live.  7pm.  For details, please click this link. 
 
June 20, Saturday
THE JUNGLE BOOK
The Paramount Theater / Compass Creative Dramatics.
Local youth take to the stage alongside two professional artists in this full-scale musical production. Join Mowgli, Baloo, Akela, and all of the jungle creatures as they race for survival against Shere Khan and his band of jackals. This performance is the culmination of The Paramount's week-long Summer Theater Residency in partnership with Compass Creative Dramatics. The Paramount Theater.  11am.  $5.50 Youth, $10.50 Adult.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-979-1333. 
 
THE CHARLOTTESVILLE WELCOME BOOK
The Charlottesville Welcome Book celebrates the sights and sounds of Jefferson's Virginia and provides visitors, newcomers and locals with the flavor of our wonderful community! Find art gallery openings, museums & attractions, exhibits, theatre, concerts, brewery and wine events on the calendar along with engaging short stories about the local antiques scene, shopping, history, vineyards and more. The Charlottesville Welcome Book is the quarterly sister publication of CharlottesvilleFamily so you can count on the quality that you've come to trust. Follow this link to the website and digital edition. For details, please click this link. 
 
 Special EventsGo to top of List
 
Second Fridays
$1 FAMILY NIGHT
Children's Museum of Richmond.
Come out for the $1 per person event every second Friday of the month at the Downtown location of the Children's Museum of Richmond. Starts June 8, 2018. CMoR Downtown.  All ages welcome.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 804-474-7062. 
 
First Thursdays
BLUE RIDGE IRISH MUSIC SCHOOL OPEN SESSIONS
Blue Ridge Irish Music School.
Slower, beginning musicians can play together at 6pm followed by intermediate-advanced, faster musicians at 7pm. Listeners and players are welcome. C'ville Coffee.  6-8pm.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Email: cvillesession@brimstunes.org. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-409-9631. 
 
First Saturdays
COMMUNITY BREAKFASTS
Rockfish Valley Community Center.
Volunteers from the community serve up breakfast at a great price. A wonderful way to meet your neighbors. Rockfish Valley Community Center.  Directions: 190 Rockfish Lane, Afton.  8:30-10:30am.  All ages welcome.  Email: rockfishcc@gmail.com. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 361-0100. 
 
First Saturdays
MUSEUMS ON US
Bank of America / Merrill / Virginia Discovery Museum.
Its Museums on Us® day at the Virginia Discovery Museum, sponsored by Bank of America! BoA, Merrill, and Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) customers receive one free general admission ticket per cardholder with an active credit or debit card and valid photo ID. Virginia Discovery Museum.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-977-1025. 
 
Saturdays & Sundays
PINBALL
Decades Arcade.
Come out and play unlimited pinball on machines dating all the way back to 1947. Decades Arcade.  2-10pm Saturdays, 2-7pm Sundays.  $$12 Adults, $8 Kids.  For details, please click this link. 
 
Fridays & Sundays
ROLLER SKATING AT CARVER RECREATION CENTER
Charlottesville Parks and Recreation.
Roller skating has returned to Carver Recreation Center. This free event occurs Fridays from 5pm-8pm and Sundays from 1pm-6pm. Skates are provided and there is no charge for this activity. Carver Recreation Center, Jefferson School City Center.  5-8pm Fridays; 1-6pm Sunday.  $Free.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-970-3053. 
 
Third Fridays
SQUARE AND CONTRA DANCING AT THE FRONT PORCH
The Front Porch / C-ville Hoedown.
Come for square and contra dancing with caller and local favorite Brian Hamshar, who will have beginners dancing in no time. No need to bring a partner. Wheelhouse plays lively celtic-inspired music served up by accordion, piano, flutes and pipes. Everyone is welcome. The Front Porch.  7:30pm beginner's workshop, 8-10pm dance.  $10 adults, $5 students, 12 and under free.  All ages welcome.  Email: info@frontporchcville.org. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 806-7062. 
 
 Sporting EventsGo to top of List
 
June 13, Saturday
RESCHEDULED - 4.01K RACE FOR FINANCIAL FITNESS
CFA Institute.
This race supports financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship programs that teach young people the skills they need for a strong financial future. 100% of the race proceeds from sponsorship and registration benefit Junior Achievement of Central Virginia. CFA Institute.  8am.  $20-$60 (family running package), under 9 free.  For details, please click this link. 
 
May 24-October 4, Every Sunday
POLO AT KING FAMILY VINEYARDS
King Family Vineyards.
Every Sunday, weather permitting, Roseland polo hosts a day of wine, competition and family fun. Guests are encouraged to bring a 10x10 pop-up tent for shade and folding chairs or a blanket to sit on. King Family Vineryards.  Gates open at 10am, Matches begin at 1pm.  $Free.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-823-7800. 
 
THE CHARLOTTESVILLE WELCOME BOOK
The Charlottesville Welcome Book celebrates the sights and sounds of Jefferson's Virginia and provides visitors, newcomers and locals with the flavor of our wonderful community! Find art gallery openings, museums & attractions, exhibits, theatre, concerts, brewery and wine events on the calendar along with engaging short stories about the local antiques scene, shopping, history, vineyards and more. The Charlottesville Welcome Book is the quarterly sister publication of CharlottesvilleFamily so you can count on the quality that you've come to trust. Follow this link to the website and digital edition. For details, please click this link. 
 
UVA CAVALIERS
University of Virginia.
Go Hoos!!! Youth Day games provide extra treats for the kids! Season schedule and games scores available through web link. All ages welcome.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 982-5631. 
 
 StorytimesGo to top of List
 
Final Saturdays
SATURDAY STORIES
JMRL - Central.
Stop by for a special storytime treat in the Children’s Room the last Saturday of the month. All families are welcome, including stuffed animals. Donuts with Dad will be a specialty storytime offered February 24. Central Library.  Directions: 201 E. Market Street.  10:30am.  $Free.  Email: central@jmrl.org. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-979-7151 . 
 
Saturdays
STORYTIME AT NEW DOMINION BOOKSHOP
New Dominion Bookshop.
Young children welcome to come to the mezzanine of the bookshop. A staff member will read classic, as well as new books to the group. New Dominion Bookshop.  Directions: 404 East Main St..  11am.  $free.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-295-2552. 
 
Wednesdays
WEEKLY STORYTIME
Barnes & Noble.
Enjoy this new weekly event, featuring fun stories and activities for everyone to enjoy. Barracks Shopping Center Barnes & Noble.  10am.  $Free.  All ages welcome.  Email: crm2559@bn.com. For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-984-6598 . 
 
 TheatreGo to top of List
 
May 28, Thursday
30IN30 VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE
Live Arts.
Every evening in May at 7pm, Live Arts will be going live on their Facebook page to share an episode of their 30in30 festival. Each episode will spotlight a different artistic season at Live Arts as they journey through three decades of forging theater and community in Charlottesville. Live Arts - Facebook Live.  7pm.  For details, please click this link. 
 
June 20, Saturday
THE JUNGLE BOOK
The Paramount Theater / Compass Creative Dramatics.
Local youth take to the stage alongside two professional artists in this full-scale musical production. Join Mowgli, Baloo, Akela, and all of the jungle creatures as they race for survival against Shere Khan and his band of jackals. This performance is the culmination of The Paramount's week-long Summer Theater Residency in partnership with Compass Creative Dramatics. The Paramount Theater.  11am.  $5.50 Youth, $10.50 Adult.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 434-979-1333. 
 
Monday-Friday and Satuday
PLAYHOUSE TOUR
American Shakespeare Center.
See the Blackfriars playhouse from the Inside Out. Tour participants will, learn about the historical predecessor, discover the inner workings of our 21st-century professional company, and explore the re-creation of Shakespeares indoor theatre. Weekday tours may be cancelled due to Student Matinees. Blackfriars Playhouse.  Monday-Friday at 2pm and Satuday at 11am.  Reservations are required.  For details, please click this link.  For more info call: 540-851-1733. 
 
THEATRE PERFORMANCE GROUPS
Charlottesville-Albemarle is filled with talent! Your young dancer or actor is sure to find a class or group to enjoy. Look to our AF Guide to Kids Recreation Year-Round to find many terrific organizations offering dance classes and theatre classes. Also, watch the Family Events and Festivals Calendar for specific performances and review the AK Guide to Family Fun Year-Round to see which groups do shows for families.
 

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